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France Caught in Smartphone Wars

France is one of the world’s biggest smartphone markets with 53% of its entire mobile population owning a smartphone. In a research done by the University of Paris-Dauphine and Médiamétrie about France’s digital economy, it has been found that in 2012, 56% of France’s aged 15+ population has mobile computers. The figure showed a 4% increase from the first quarter and a 40% increase from the second quarter of the same year. A lot of French smartphone users use their phones for instant inquiry, emails, and gaming. The UPDM said, “It is very likely that this phenomenon is driven by the entry of Free and the resulting cross-industry drop in total monthly contract prices and, most critically, data access.” These figures only show how profitable this market in France can be in the next few years. And when we say profitable, this means competition. Right now, there are at least ten smartphone brands being sold in the country. The most notable of them are Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Tizen, Fujitsu, Blackberry, and Nokia.

Smartphone manufacturers see the French market as a battlefield, while French consumers see the competition as an expo that gives them more choices which could lead to a great deal. French consumers are meticulous when it comes to electronic gadgets. They want their gadgets perfect for anything they like to do, such as playing online poker game for instance. Mobile poker, according to research company ARJEL, is rapidly growing in France. Most people who can’t go to casinos or other gaming houses turn to online versions of the popular card game. Games on sites like Partypoker.fr are usually interrupted by poor mobile internet connection. French players hate it when this happens, because they don’t just lose the game, they also lose the chance to win cash or qualify for the World Poker Tour or the World Series of Poker. Another feature that makes smartphones perfect for mobile poker is its display screen. The larger the monitor is, the better. Those who want to play poker on their mobile phone want to clearly see all their opponents’ chips and remaining cash on one screen. This way, they’ll be able to think what their next move should be.

Right now, the battle inside the French market is getting stiffer as budget smartphones are starting to take over the scene. France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said this may damage the sales of the pricey brands like Apple and Samsung. Richard attributed the sudden shift by consumers to the “period of changing consumer behavior.” Well, he could be right. Practicality is the name of the game for consumers. If budget smartphones can keep up with the features that expensive counterparts offer, why not give them a try?

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